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Breast cancer and the density of breast tissue have been in the news recently. According to recent online news story a new study that will be featured in the August 20 addition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute discovered that the risk of mortality from breast cancer is not linked to the high mammographic breast density and breast cancer patients. Increased mammographic breast density is one of the most pronounced risk factors for non- familial breast cancer and even though patients with increased mammographic breast density are at an elevated risk of developing breast cancer, at this point it remains unclear if a higher density also raises questions as to whether a lower survival rate is prevalent in these breast cancer patients.
Breast Cancer, Density, and Survival Rates
Upon further investigation, Gretchen L. Gierach, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland and her team analyzed data from the U.S. Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, which involved information on 9,232 women diagnosed with primary invasive breast carcinoma between 1996-2005. They observed that the density of the breast tissue had no obvious impact on the mortality risk once the disease had developed. The study authors concluded that the results support the need for further investigation and concluded that possible interaction associated with breast density and other patient characteristics, as well as breast cancer treatment are all likely to influence breast cancer prognosis.
Breast Cancer Detection and Cosmetic Surgery
Dr. Seify encourages all breast surgery patients including those who have had cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentation with breast implants, breast lift, or breast reduction to consult with their primary care physician regarding his/her recommendation for mammography. Patients that naturally have dense breast tissue may find that their primary care physician recommends they have a mammogram along with an additional ultrasound test designed to detect breast cancer in dense breast tissue. All patients should conduct monthly breast self- exams as a preventative measure that also allows patients to become more familiar with their own breast and detect any changes that could be present.
Breast cancer is a devastating diagnosis and effective treatment is key. According to a new report obesity may actually hinder a woman’s success rate for treatment. According to an online article British researchers studied 54 postmenopausal women with the most common form of breast cancer estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. Over three quarters of the breast cancers need estrogen to grow, so if treatment is able to block the production or growth of estrogen, the treatment can be effective in treating breast cancer. The researchers discovered that breast cancer patients who were obese had higher levels to of estrogen than women who were of normal weight. Participants in the study were compared according to their BMI and a BMI over 30 is defined as obese. Participants with a BMI that was from 30 to 35 were at a higher level of estrogen about three times in their blood than those who had a BMI of less than 25 as reported by the researchers July 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. After treatment using drugs that suppress the hormone, estrogen levels contained in the obese women blood were reduced significantly but still remain double the levels of those seen in women who were of a normal weight.
Breast Cancer and Treatment
The researchers made a point to emphasize that women who are currently undergoing breast cancer treatment, and are obese should not be concerned with the results of this study. They stress that the study results will actually lead to better improvements for doctors treating women who are obese and have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Reconstruction Options
Dr. Seify encourages patients to remain positive concerning not only their breast cancer treatment but also the possibility for breast reconstruction and the positive effect it could have on their lives. For most women the best option is to include breast cancer reconstruction information with the other decisions made following a breast cancer diagnosis. Dr. Seify works closely with the team of medical professionals which could include the radiologist, oncologist, and general surgeon. Together with the patient they determine which choices are best suited for the patient and will allow them to have the best quality of life. For many patients this includes a healthier lifestyle which in many cases can also lead to weight loss. Patients are encouraged to consult with Dr. Seify after a breast cancer diagnosis to discuss which breast reconstruction options are the best solutions for their specific situation
Breast cancer early detection is critical. For women with dense breast tissue detecting breast cancer through a traditional mammogram has been a concern. According to a recent online article women who have dense breasts on mammography have an elevated risk of breast cancer. It is understood that mammography cannot discover all cancers especially in dense breast tissue, some states (Texas, Connecticut, and soon California) have established laws that will make it mandatory for the provision of information related to women who are known to have dense breasts, and recommend a consideration for adding ultrasound or MRI screening to mammography to make the cancer detection method more effective.
Breast Cancer Early Detection Is Most Important
Some physicians have been offering a version of bilateral breast cancer screening with traditional l ultrasound, however this takes a lot of time and is heavily dependent on the skill of the person doing the exam. For this reason, new devices are being developed to reduce the likelihood of human error in the exam and make it more accurate. SonoCine is one specific brand of device for automated breast cancer ultrasound, recommended for some women who may have dense breast tissue. The most accurate term to use for this is “automated breast cancer ultrasound” because it does not rely on the human factor, in contrast to current ultrasound technology. It is debatable as to whether it is the best form of technology, but physicians are using it and many find it to be effective. Adding ultrasound to mammography has downsides including false positives which could lead to unnecessary biopsies.
Breast Cancer Screening A Must for all Women
Patients are advised to ask questions of their physician especially if they are known to have dense breast tissue. Dr. Seify explains to patients considering cosmetic breast augmentation, breast reduction or breast lift that breast health is very important. Patient should be diligent with their breast self-exams on a monthly basis regardless of their age. Younger women are more likely to have dense breast tissue so breast self-exam is very important, as the likelihood of the patient discovering abnormalities including lumps or unexplained discharge, is better than the discovery being made during an annual gynecological exam. Patients are also advised to follow their primary care physicians’ recommendations for mammography. Early detection remains the best and most effective action for fighting breast cancer effectively.
Breast cancer treatment has improved substantially over the past 20 years. According to recent online Orange County article twenty years ago, the universal approach was typical for breast cancer care. Today, medical professionals understand that every breast cancer case is different. Although most cases still need surgery, radiation or chemotherapy to eliminate the cancer, doctors have more advanced tools to identify those who require more- or less-aggressive treatment solutions. There has been a lot of progress since the days of generic care, and the way medical professionals diagnose and treat patients has changed significantly over the past two decades, thanks to groundbreaking advancements in research and technology. These advances have produced dramatic increases in survivorship.
Breast Cancer Strides
One of the most significant changes is in the methods doctors use to actually detect breast cancer. With a clearer understanding of how the disease can exist from one generation to another, medical professionals have been able to isolate and identify breast cancer genes through a simple DNA test. Women with a significant family history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer now are able to consult a genetic counselor to find out if testing is necessary. Chemotherapy has become more effective for patients – advances in anti-nausea medication, medication to improve the immune systems, and the reduction of side effects have made modern therapies more tolerable for patients. Breast cancer surgical treatment has improved over the past 20 years, with advances in oncoplasty (simultaneous removal of tumors and shaping of the breast) and unprecedented more aesthetically pleasing reconstruction methods. These tools have allowed women to have the best cosmetic results whether they choose breast conservation or removal of the breast. Research has also led teams to the development of multi-disciplinary planning – this is a coordinated team works together to allow for the best and most supportive care possible.
Breast Cancer a Team Approach
Dr. Seify and his staff have been fortunate enough to see firsthand the strides made in breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and breast reconstruction. The team approach allows Dr. Seify to have firsthand knowledge of his patient’s journey from diagnosis through reconstruction. The number of women who choose breast reconstruction after breast cancer diagnosis still remains relatively low. Estimates are that the number is only about 30%. Dr. Seify is committed to educating patients early in the process so that they can make better informed decisions and be more hopeful concerning the options that are available in breast reconstruction today.
Breast feeding is in the news again.The benefits of breast milk have been extolled by medical professionals for decades. A new scientific study shows even further beneficial links to breast feeding and the prevention of breast cancer. According to the onlinearticle once patients have why breastfeeding protects against multiple forms of cancer is still largely unknown. A new study in the Journal of Human Lactation (published by SAGE) found high levels of cancer-fighting TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) in human milk, which could be one source of breast milk’s anticancer ingredient.
Breast Milk has Health Benefits
Researchers extracted samples of colostrum, the first milk available to newborns, and of aged breast milk from new mothers. Researchers then collected samples of blood from healthy women, and a sampling of ready-to-feed infant formulas. The colostrum, mature b milk, blood and formula were then all evaluated to measure their level of TRAIL. The researchers found that colostrum and milk contained 400- and 100-fold, respectively, higher levels of TRAIL than blood. No TRAIL was detected in the formula. “The important role of breastfeeding in the prevention of certain childhood cancers, such as lymphoblastic leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, and neuroblastoma, has been previously demonstrated,” wrote the authors. “However, endogenous soluble TRAIL represents a strong candidate to explain the overall biological effect of breastfeeding against cancer.” Breast feeding undoubtedly is the best for both the baby and the mother’s health.
Breast Augmentation After Breast Feeding
Some women complain of toll breast-feeding can take on the appearance shape and contour of their breast. Dr. Seify assures his patientsthat mothers who have breast-fed have found breastaugmentation with or without implants to be extremely beneficial in restoring their breast to their original pre-pregnancy shape. Many patients have lost significant volume in the upper portion of their breast and a breastimplant allows them to regain the fullness. Dr. Seify may recommend a breastliftfor patients who have a significant sagging component to their breast. For these patients he may utilize a small implant to achieve better symmetry and shape. Most patients tell Dr. Seify that their breast augmentation procedure gives them more self-confidence and a higher self-esteem after giving birth.
Breast cancer diagnosis changes the lives of not only the patient but also their loved ones. According to a recent online article husbands who have wives who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer experience high levels of stress. According to the article providing care for a wife with breast cancer can have a profoundly negative effect on men’s health, even many years following cancer diagnosis and completion of treatment, according to recent research.
Breast Cancer Can Be Stressful for Husbands Too
Men who were reported to have the highest levels of stress in relation to their wives’ cancer diagnosis were also at elevated risk for physical symptoms and had lower immune responses, the study showed. The researchers wanted to study the health effects of a recurrence of breast cancer would have on patients’ who had male caregivers, but discovered that the amount of stress the men had about the cancer had a larger influence on their health than the actual current health status of their wives’ disease. The results show that medical professionals caring for breast cancer patients could provide more effective care for their patients by considering the caregivers’ health as well, the researchers say.
Breast Cancer Treatment Plans Include the Family
This study is very interesting because it supports the concept of a team approach to medical care as well as a team approach to patient support. Dr. Seify and his staff encourage patients to include family members and key support people in their breast cancer treatment plans. From breast cancer diagnosis to breast cancer reconstruction the journey can be stressful for everyone who is involved. Dr. Seify encourages married patients or those with significant others involved closely with their lives, to participate in open dialogue with the entire medical team. Support groups for caregivers can be extremely beneficial in helping to relieve stress and alleviate unnecessary fears. Having open communication is among the best advice for patients and their male caregivers.
Breast Cancer screening just got a huge boost. The long-awaited breast cancer ultrasound screening FDA panel approval came this week. According to a recent ABCnewsstory a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel today approved the widespread use of an automated ultrasound medical device that would give doctors a detailed digital image of dense breast tissue, helping them to spot cancerous tumors.
Breast Cancer Ultrasound Screening Another Option
Breast cancer ultrasound screening is closer to FDA approval. The FDA reviewed the safety and effectiveness of the Automated Breast Ultrasound, a medical device that uses an automated, digital imaging system to get ultrasound images of breast tissue. ABUS is designed to screen women with dense breast tissue, for whom traditional mammograms may not be as effective. “We know that mammography is limited by breast density,” said Robert Smith, senior director of cancer screening at the American Cancer Society. “Sometimes the glandular tissue is so dense that radiation doesn’t penetrate it. You can’t see anything.” The dense tissue provides an easy cover for tumors to hide on traditional mammograms. Some research estimates that about 40 percent of women have dense breast tissue.
Breast Cancer Ultrasound Screening Important for Women With Dense Breast Tissue
Breast cancer screening options are better when more women can benefit. The addition of more accurate breast cancer screening devices is welcomed in the fight against breast cancer. Dr. Seify educates his cosmetic breast surgery patients including those who have had breastaugmentation with breast implants, breastlift, or breastreduction, about the importance of breast health. This includes breast self exam which is advised monthly as well as mammography and if appropriate digital imaging. Early detection of breast cancer allows women the best opportunity for survival. As a reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr. Seify is intimately involved in both specialties of plastic surgery. This allows him to utilize skills that provide crossover benefits including taking advantage of state-of-the-art methods, techniques, and devices unique to each specialty. Patients benefit from Dr. Seify’s skill and expertise whether they are a reconstructive or cosmetic patient.